Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has finalised dates for its Lankan Premier League (LPL) T20 tournament, but its ability to attract foreign talent may be limited due to scheduling clashes with the Caribbean Premier League and England's T20 Blast.
The LPL is scheduled to run between August 18 and September 10, while the CPL is set to be played from August 8 to September 16, and the English domestic season ongoing throughout. The LPL will feature six teams in its inaugural edition.
Although the clash seems an oversight, perhaps there was no way around it. With the IPL taking up almost two months, and the southern-hemisphere T20 leagues being played roughly from December to January, the Sri Lankan board is hamstrung by a busy schedule, not to mention the island's monsoon season. An August-September window may be the best of a poor set of options.
There is, at least, a slight lull in the international cricket schedule in those months. SLC may target players from New Zealand, Bangladesh and Australia, with those teams likely to be free during this period. Pakistan players could also be an option, particularly if their tour to Zimbabwe is called off. As the T20 blast and the CPL - in particular - are bigger-ticket tournaments, the LPL may struggle to attract the marquee players that other T20 tournaments boast.
Nevertheless, news of a high-profile Sri Lankan T20 tournament will be welcomed by local players, who have not had a regular domestic T20 tournament over the past few years. SLC had hosted an IPL-style T20 event in 2012, called the SLPL. That tournament collapsed after its first edition, largely due to lack of interest.